Tobacco, next to alcohol, is the worst possible investment a nation can make; in reality an investment in deterioration — which destroys capital and creates nothing. In the first place it robs the nation of a vast acreage of land simply to burn it up in smoke. It wastes the lives of countless thousands of good citizens, scattering all their efforts to the winds in smoke.
It is the cause of innumerable fires, destroying property estimated to run into several hundred millions of dollars annually. Tobacco is the cause of constant bickerings and bitterness between growers of the weed, and buyers, and often gives rise to feuds which results in the burning of barns, and in murders.
Its use by many creates a strong desire for alcoholic stimulants. It wastes the time and money of millions of our young men—not to mention young women. It reduces the resistance of young men so that many through this agency become a prey to tuberculosis and are less capable of resisting other diseases.
It is a direct incitant and cause of cancer of the mouth in thousands yearly. It ruins the nerves of many young men at a time when they are about to enter into their active life in the world, making them unable to concentrate upon their work, and unfit for the responsibility of important business.
As a cause for so many fires, it irr poses heavy taxes on the community by reason of the destruction of property, and increase in expense of insurance, as well as the expense of supporting the fire department.
It is particularly harmful to women who are not so able to throw off its effects on the nerves by physical exercise. —Dr. Howard A. Kelly.
Side by side with the liquor problem comes the pernicious and disgusting cigarette habit, which has so throttled our nation that women, including mothers and high school girls, are as much addicted to the habit as men. Dr. Samuel A. Brown, dean of Bellevue Hospital, New York City, says, "Women cannot smoke moderately. It is a letdown of moral standards." George Thomason, M.D., F.H.C.S., believes "beyond question that tobacco today represents one of the greatest menaces of the human race to physical, mental, and moral stability."
In many instances, the movie industry—acknowledged as the greatest force in the world for recreation and for education — is also selling out morality in exchange for dollars. It is said that 97 per cent of released films are marked "unfit," "for adults only," "questionable," or "matter of taste."—Courtesy Moody Monthly.
Dr. Shields Warren of Harvard Medical school, in a public lecture at the Medical school building in Boston on "Cancer and New Growths," said that he never knew of a case where a woman had cancer of the mouth, although statistics have shown that of men who have had cancer of the mouth all have been smokers. He said that times had changed somewhat and he is watching with a great deal of interest to see if women in view of their present habit of smoking, will acquire this disease.—The Youth's Evangelist.
Magister Crane, of New York City, said: "Ninety-nine out of every hundred boys between the ages of ten and seventeen years who come before me charged with crime, have their fingers disfigured by yellow cigarette stains... When you have arraigned before you boys hopelessly deaf through excessive use of cigarettes, boys who have stolen their sisters' earnings, boys who absolutely refuse to work, who do nothing but gamble and steal, you cannot help seeing that there is some direct cause, and a great deal of this boyhood crime is, in my mind, easy to trace to the deadly cigarette. There is something in the poison of the cigarette that seems to get into the system of the boy and destroy all moral fiber."
He gives the following course of a boy who begins to smoke cigarettes: "First, cigarettes. Second, beer and liquors. Third, craps — petty gambling. Fourth, horse racing — gambling on a bigger scale. Fifth, larceny. Sixth, state prison.
Not long ago a boy in New York robbed his mother and actually beat her because she would not give him money with which to buy cigarettes. Every little while we see accounts in newspapers all over the country of all kinds of petty thefts and misdemeanors which boys commit in order to satisfy the cigarette mania.
Another New York City magistrate says: "Yesterday I had before me thirty-five boy prisoners. Thirty-three of them were confirmed cigarette smokers. Today, from a reliable source, I have made the grew some discovery that two of the largest cigarette manufacturers soak their product in a weak solution of opium. The fact that out of thirty-five prisoners thirty-three smoked cigarettes might seem to indicate some direct connection is not hard to understand. Opium is like whiskey, — it creates an increasing appetite that grows with what it feeds upon. A growing boy who lets tobacco and opium get a hold upon his senses is never long in coming under the domination of whiskey, too. Tobacco is the boy's easiest and most direct road to whiskey. When opium is added, the young man's chance of resisting the combined forces and escaping physical, mental, and moral harm is slim, indeed."
Young men of great natural ability, everywhere some of them in high positions, are constantly losing their grip, deteriorating, dropping back, losing their ambition, their push, their stamina, and their energy, because of its deadly hold upon them. If there is anything a young man should guard as Divinely sacred, it is his ability to think clearly, forcefully, logically. —Gospel Herald.
The late Chauncey M. Depew, who lived to the age of ninety-three, and who was daily found at his office until a few months before his death, in his ninety-third year told why he gave up smoking a half century before. When a young man, he labored under the delusion that smoking steadied his nerves, and made them more dependable. He finally made the discovery that he had been under a deception. But here are his own words:
"I used to smoke twenty cigars a day, and continued at it until I became worn out. I did not know what was the matter with me; and physicians to whom I applied did not mention tobacco. I was in the habit of smoking at my desk, and thought I derived material assistante in my work from it. After a time I found I could not do any work without tobacco. My power of concentration was greatly weakened, and I could not think well without a lighted cigar in my mouth.
"One day I bought a cigar, and was puffing it with the feeling of pleasure that is possible only to the devotee. I smoked only a few minutes, and then took it out of my mouth and looked at it. I said to it, `My friend and bosom companion, you have been dearer to me than gold. To you I have ever been devoted, yet you are the cause of all my ills. You have played me false. The time has come when we must part.'
"I gazed sadly and longingly at the cigar, then threw it into the street. I had been convinced that tobacco was ruining me. I have never smoked from that day to this." This renunciation was not, however, without a struggle. He says, "For three months thereafter I underwent the most awful agony. I never expect to suffer more in this world or the next. I didn't go to any physician or endeavor in any way to palliate my sufferings. Possibly a physician might have given me something to soften the torture. Neither did I break my vow. I had made up my mind that I must forever abandon tobacco or I would be ruined by it.
"At the end of three months my longing for it abated. I gained twenty-five pounds in weight. I slept well for seven or eight hours every night. I have never smoked from that day to this; and while no one knows better than I the pleasures to be derived from tobacco, I am still well content to forget them, knowing their effect."—Dr. H. H. Kress.
I acquired the vile tobacco habit in the public school when quite young, and grew up with it until, when I became a man I had learned to chew, smoke and dip. I would often take a chew of the strongest tobacco and at the same time smoke a cigar. I had never heard a preacher lift his voice against this vice, but quite to the contrary, the majority of them together with the laity, used it in all of its forms. I was soundly converted in an old-time Methodist revival and for weeks I enjoyed sweet communion with God, and used my tobacco every day just as I had done for many years, but one day I bought a ten-cent box of snuff, and as I started for my home in the country, I opened my box and started to take some, when something checked me and seemed to say to me, "Why do you use that filthy stuff to defile the body which God calls His home?" I could not answer for I had no excuse; it was merely a habit.
Then the Spirit said to me, "How much did you pay for that box?" I answered only 10 cents, but again He whispered, "Ten cents would buy 100 tracts, which if wisely distributed might lead at least one soul to God. Then came the question to my mind: "Which would you rather have, a soul for God or a box of snuff?" I at once saw the point; threw the box into the grass, lifted my hand to Heaven and promised God that I would never touch the filthy weed again, but would ever afterward spend my tobacco money for tracts. I knew I was bound by the dirty habit until I could not quit of myself, so I asked God to help me, and He did, for from that day nearly eighteen years ago until this hour, I have never wanted it in the least. And I have brought and distributed many thousands of tracts which I have personally enjoyed much more than the old habit, and many have been blessed thereby. Go thou and do likewise!—Tract.
A teacher said the other day that ninety boys out of every hundred who fail in grammar schools and high schools smoke tobacco. He says that boys who smoke are nearly all unruly and disobedient in school. And he says again that boys who get their lessons well and stand high in grammar schools make lower marks in high school if they begin to smoke in high school. This ought to be enough to make any boy stop and think before he begins to smoke, for it shows that it not only hurts a boy's mind, but his morals also.—The Church of God Evangel.